When a Romulan officer defects to the Federation with a warning of a impending invasion, Capt. Picard struggles to decide if he is to be believed.



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Episode cast overview:
Wesley Crusher (credit only)
John Bates (as S.A. Templeman)


Data was discovering the human condition by Shakespearian acting, when Picard gets informed a craft entered the Neutral Zone. It's identified as a Romulan scout, which claims to need urgently asylum from a persecutor. The wounded Setol gets it, and warns the Romulans nearly finished building a base on a planet in the Neutral Zone, in order to occupy it and from there strike 15 neighboring Federation zones with a fleet of war birds, which would mean another full war, but still remains rather defensive, at times hostile. Commander Riker and counselor Troi are charged with questioning him further, in case it's a ploy to lure them into the zone as a war pretext. The admiralty refuses the Empire's demand to return the defector, and orders Picard to find out if the threat is real. After technological means came to contradictory conclusions, Setol discloses his real identity, and that's not the last surprising twist... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

1 January 1990 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Episode begins with Data rehearsing a scene from William Shakespeare's Henry V, while being watched by Jean-Luc Picard, played by Patrick Stewart. In the play scene the part of Williams (being acted by a holodeck construct) is also played by Patrick Stewart under heavy makeup. It is notable that only Bates, the one other character in the scene, is credited at the end of the episode. See more »


After the Enterprise hails the Romulan Warbird it cloaks and turns away. Cloaked Romulan ships cannot be detected by Enterprise technology. Yet, Worf identifies its course and position. See more »


Captain Jean-Luc Picard: [quoting Shakespeare's "Henry V"] Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king, who led them to it.
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References Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Enemy (1989) See more »


Star Trek: The Next Generation End Credits
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and Alexander Courage
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User Reviews

Oh, those Romulans are tricksy....
16 November 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"The Defector" begins with some Romulan ships chasing one of their shuttles into Federation space. The person on the shuttle calls for help and the Enterprise comes to its aid. However, when the Romulan attackers are driven off, it turns out that the pilot is a Romulan himself! And, he claims to have information about an upcoming Romulan attack. Now considering that the Romulans LOVE deceit and that they love to lure their enemies into attacking first, it's obvious that this might be all part of some elaborate trap. Not surprisingly, Picard and the crew are quite dubious and it's up to them to determine whether to listen to this man named 'Setol' or not.

This is a decent episode--because all the Romulan episodes are good. In addition, the bittersweet ending works quite well. My only reservation is all the stuff about Shakespeare...yuck! Well worth seeing in spite of this.

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